Title: 1045 - Exploring Parental Factors Influencing Children’s Eating Behaviours


Khlood Baghlaf (Presenter)
Queen Mary University

Vanessa Muirhead, Queen Mary University of London
Cynthia Pine, Queen Mary University of London


Objectives: To explore the socio-cultural parental factors that influence the eating behaviours of 7-8 year old children.

Methods: This study took place in Newham, an ethnically diverse deprived area in London; and, in Kent; a suburban area in England. Families were recruited from six primary schools. A mixed methods explanatory study collected quantitative dietary data from parents using a 24-hour recall tool (INTAKE24). This data was used to purposively sample parents for the qualitative descriptive study based on children’s daily intake of free sugars (criterion sampling). The “high” sugar group were parents whose children consumed more than the WHO recommended sugar intake of 10% of their total energy intake. Parents in the “low” sugar group had children whose intakes fell below this recommendation. Parents took part in semi-structured audio-recorded interviews, transcribed verbatim and analysed using framework analysis.

Results: Seventy-one parents completed diet diaries; 20 parents were purposively selected for the qualitative study (10 parents in each area; 5 high and 5 low sugar). Nineteen parents were mothers. All parents in Newham had a Black or Asian ethnicity; 90% of parents in Kent were White. Fifty percent of participants in Newham were working mothers compared to 90% in Kent. A thematic matrix identified common and disparate themes related to sociocultural factors and sugar consumption. The common parental themes explaining children’s eating behaviours were parental modelling, cultural practices and food availability at home. Parents in Newham described cost as a major influence on food choices. Working mothers in Kent described time to prepare food as a major influence. The “low” sugar parents reported an authoritative parenting style that limited their child’s sugar intake. “High” sugar parents had a more permissive parenting style.

Conclusions: This exploratory study demonstrates the complex interaction between social, environmental and parenting factors that influence children’s eating behaviours.

This abstract is based on research that was funded entirely or partially by an outside source:
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia Cultural Bureau in London.

Disclosure Statement:
The submitter must disclose the names of the organizations with which any author have a relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the clinical or research area involved. The following is submitted: NONE